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Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

MICHIGAN LAWMAKER-ABUSE ALLEGATIONS Michigan lawmaker: Allegations are 'character assassination' LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawmaker who's accused of threatening a legislator over their past romantic relationship is denying her allegations.

MICHIGAN LAWMAKER-ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

Michigan lawmaker: Allegations are 'character assassination'

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawmaker who's accused of threatening a legislator over their past romantic relationship is denying her allegations. Republican Rep. Steve Marino issued a statement Thursday after Democratic Rep. Mari Manoogian suggested his removal from two committees stemmed from their “volatile” relationship. She said she was taking steps to ensure her safety following domestic abuse, including threats of public shaming. Marino says their relationship ended “well over” a year ago. He said the “insinuations made are nothing more than politically motivated character assassination that I am confident will conclude as a waste of the public’s time.”

AP-US-FORD-JOBS

Ford adding 450 jobs to meet demand for new electric truck

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford plans to spend $250 million and add 450 jobs at three Michigan plants to meet demand for the new F-150 Lightning. Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of the Americas, said Ford already has taken more than 150,000 reservations for the new electric version of its immensely popular F-150 pickup truck. Galhotra made the announcement Thursday at the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in the automaker’s hometown of Dearborn, where the first pre-production trucks are being made. Ford officials hope the F-150 Lightning will be the catalyst that hastens America’s transition from gasoline to battery-powered vehicles. 

EMERGENCY LANDING

Pilot safely lands plane in Livingston Co after engine woes

FOWLERVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A pilot safely landed his single-engine aircraft in a field after encountering mechanical trouble Thursday afternoon. Michigan State Police say the 33-year-old pilot was able to land the plane with no damage or injuries in Handy Township in Livingston County, southeast of Lansing. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. FAA records show the plane was manufactured in 1976 and registered to a company based in Delaware.

MICHIGAN REDISTRICTING

Michigan's top court rejects redistricting lawsuit _ for now

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to deadlines set by a commission that is drawing new maps for seats in Congress and the Legislature. But the legal battle is not over. The court turned down an opportunity to immediately take a lawsuit. But it also says it soon will set rules for additional litigation. The commission hopes to have maps ready for a final vote by Dec. 30, citing a delay in detailed census data. But critics say Sept. 17 and Nov. 1 deadlines in the Michigan Constitution can’t be ignored. The commission was approved by voters to take mapmaking out of the hands of lawmakers and the governor.

GIRL-HAIRCUT-TEACHER

Lawsuit seeks $1M after Michigan teacher cuts girl's hair

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — The father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents’ permission has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher's assistant. MLive.com reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Grand Rapids against Mount Pleasant Public Schools. It alleges that the biracial girl’s constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery. Jimmy Hoffmeyer, who is Black and white, said in March that a classmate used scissors to cut one side of his daughter's hair. He said two days later a teacher cut Jurnee's hair to even it out. Hoffmeyer says the classmate and the teacher are white. Jurnee's mother is white.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TV WEATHERMAN

Michigan TV weatherman out after refusing to get vaccine

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — A man who spent more than 30 years reporting the weather on TV in northern Michigan is out of a job. Karl Bohnak says he was fired at WLUC after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Bohnak says control over his body should be up to him. He says he was fired at WLUC for not following a vaccine mandate from the owner, Gray Television. WLUC declined to comment. Bohnak began working at WLUC in 1988. He says the Upper Peninsula was one of the most challenging places in the U.S. for weather forecasting.

AP-US-LAWMAKER-JAIL-KEY

Sheriff: Michigan lawmaker in jail had hidden handcuff key

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — Officers who escorted a Michigan lawmaker to jail say they were surprised when they found a handcuff key taped to his foot. Authorities in Livingston County say the key was discovered Tuesday when state Rep. Jewell Jones was put in jail for violating bond conditions in a drunken driving case. The 26-year-old Detroit-area Democrat returned to court Wednesday to face new charges over the key. Defense attorney Byron Nolan says Jewell “realizes the seriousness of the allegations.” Jones has been in and out of court since April when he was charged with drunken driving, resisting police and other offenses. That case is pending.

BUCKLED GROUND-DETROIT

Shifting ground prompts utility to shut down gas main

DETROIT (AP) — A utility has shut down a high-pressure gas main in southwest Detroit due to ground shifting beneath the pavement. The city says Thursday that DTE Energy closed the 24-inch natural gas pipeline Wednesday night “to avert a potential public safety issue and to allow the investigation into the ground shift to proceed safely.” A temporary bypass to restore natural gas to six industrial companies that use the pipeline is expected to be completed within a week. The shifting first was noticed Saturday. No injuries were reported, but a marijuana dispensary was damaged and had to be demolished Tuesday. The structural integrity of an adjacent building affected by the shifting ground was being assessed.

MICHIGAN BUDGET

Lawmakers, Whitmer announce deal to finalize state budget

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Top lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration have announced a deal to finalize the next state budget. They had waited to work out spending plans for state departments and funding for universities, community colleges and local governments after enacting a preK-12 budget in the summer. The Republican-led Legislature is expected to vote next week, about a week before the Sept. 30 deadline. Details of the agreement were not immediately released Wednesday. The pending legislation will cover all non-school spending, including social services, public health, roads and environmental protection.

The Associated Press